Within Temptation - The Heart Of Everything
Roadrunner Records
Gothic Metal
11 songs (57'06)
Release year: 2007
Within Temptation, Roadrunner Records
Reviewed by Ben

Within Temptation seem to have created a buzz for themselves. Apparently they’re huge in Europe but here in the States they are still a cult status band. The Heart Of Everything is the band’s first release through Roadrunner in the US and with the upcoming tour alongside Lacuna Coil, these guys and Sharon seem poised on the edge of their big break. I’ve only been a fan of Within Temptation for a few years now, The Silent Force was my first album. I’ve liked what I’d heard out of their three studio albums so The Heart Of Everything was anticipated, yet I wasn’t frothing for it. I was surprised at the lead off single, What Have You Done when the music video was posted online (and then quickly taken down and a new “modern” version took its place) and really thought, “wow that’s pretty damn Evanescence." This sparked a tumultuous little murmur in the bands’ fan base and had a few people throwing quite a fit over the new sound of the band. Now that the full release is available I can be more judgmental.

The Howling was also previously released before What Have You Done but in the uproar over Keith Caputo taking time away from Sharon, people seem to have forgotten that this is one of the best in the bands catalog. The Howling walks the line of feminine Power Metal and is packed with bombast and melody. Frozen is a power ballad and Sharon gives a stellar vocal performance. The orchestral arrangements are nicely done and there is some well conveyed emotion without being sappy. I find myself drawn to The Cross often. Here we get to see Within Temptation experiment a little. Right away there is a vocalizing pattern that gives the song an exotic tone over the modern sounding music. Later on, going from exotic to operatic, den Adel again shows her talents as a singer. Lyrically the album has more grounded and real life words to accompany the sounds. There are more than a handful that deal with relationships gone sour. The days of In Perfect Harmony are no more and I don’t think the ancient spirits of the forest will be back. Final Destination gets a mention, I think this should have been the single instead of What Have You Done. This is more powerful and still retains a modern vibe, especially the guitar work with their down tuned riffs and harmonies, and wouldn’t have divided fans quite so much. The Truth Beneath The Rose is an admirable effort to be epic but it isn’t as dramatic or effective as say Ghost Love Score.

I find The Heart Of Everything satisfactory. For gothic metal this is well done. I like it when a band decides to experiment with their sound and songs like Final Destination and The Cross show that Within Temptation have experimented off into an enjoyable direction. I can see how fans of forests and elves will be disappointed but Mother Earth will always be there. As for this being a potential break through in the United States? If it gets the right push then I think it just might be. What Have You Done will lure in new additions and The Howling and Frozen will make them stay.

Killing Songs :
The Howling, The Cross, Frozen
Ben quoted 76 / 100
Other albums by Within Temptation that we have reviewed:
Within Temptation - The Unforgiving reviewed by Goat and quoted 81 / 100
Within Temptation - Enter reviewed by Ben and quoted 72 / 100
Within Temptation - The Silent Force reviewed by Jay and quoted 85 / 100
Within Temptation - Mother Earth reviewed by Sin and quoted 92 / 100
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